April 4 (Reuters) – Gold extended gains on Tuesday and crossed the key USD 2,000 level as the dollar and yields fell, while weaker US economic data emboldened bets for slower rate hikes despite mounting concerns over oil-led inflation.
Spot gold was up 1.7% at USD 2,017.92 per ounce by 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), after reaching its highest since March 9 last year at USD 2,024.89 earlier. US gold futures settled 1.9% higher at USD 2,038.20.
Tracking gold’s gains, silver jumped 3.8% to USD 24.91 per ounce, platinum rose 3.3% to USD 1,017.91, while palladium was up 0.3% at USD 1,456.05.
“We’re in this very positive backdrop for gold in which we have the slowing of economic data along with inflationary pressures remaining elevated,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
Burnishing gold’s appeal, especially among traders holding other currencies, the dollar added to its losses after data showed US job openings in February dropped to a near two-year low, while factory orders also dipped.
A surge in oil prices this week after a surprise output cut by OPEC+ has helped the zero-yield gold, traditionally considered the preferred inflation hedge, shake off the usual pressure from the likelihood of interest rate hikes that could be implemented to rein in rising price pressures. O/R
“From a technical perspective, the gold price is likely to remain strong and stabilize at its current level or even higher. The USD 2,050-mark could act as an important resistance level, and if breached, prices could quickly soar towards its all-time high,” said Alexander Zumpfe, a precious metals dealer at Heraeus.
Markets now see about a 43% chance of the Federal Reserve hiking rates by a quarter basis point in May, with a roughly 57% chance of a pause.
But Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity, said more rate hikes could cause gold to unwind some of its recent gains.
(Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Seher Dareen and Arpan Varghese; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shilpi Majumdar)